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Third Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs-3)

Geneva, Switzerland
6 - 11 Septembre, 1999

On the fifth day of INC-3, delegates met in Plenary to hear reports from the Implementation and Negotiation Groups, the LDG and the contact groups on prohibition and restrictions, newly developed chemicals and byproducts. Following Plenary, the Negotiation Group addressed, inter alia, information exchange, newly developed chemicals and exemptions. The Implementation Group continued to consider text for the article on technical assistance and held general discussions on financial assistance.

Chair Whylie (Jamaica) of the contact group on byproducts reported on the group's preliminary meeting which initiated discussions on a Norway/Iceland joint submission.
Kevin Buckett (Australia) reported general agreement reached by the contact group discussing Norway's proposed language for a criteria on adverse effects in the annex containing information and criteria requirements for the proposal and review of proposed POPs.
Jose Tarazona (Spain) reported on contact group discussions considering language proposals on screening of new chemicals with POPs properties. He noted agreement on measures to manage emergence of new POPs, but difficulties over specific needs and types of controls.
Charles Auer (US), Chair of the contact group on prohibition and restrictions, reported
on PCB discussions, noting insertion of bracketed language in both elimination and prohibition
annexes and agreement on elimination of production and new uses of PCBs. The group viewed the
public health emergency exemption as a specific chemical exemption but did not achieve consensus.
Negotiation Group
The EU expressed concern that an end-use exemption would leave a loophole in the convention and supported its deletion.
Regarding the Secretariat serving as a clearing-house mechanism (CHM), CANADA highlighted the UNEP Chemicals CHM on POPs as a good basis for discussion. He also proposed a CHM on matching financial and technical assistance needs.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION preferred referencing environmental impacts as opposed to specifying creation or commercialization. In response, the US suggested, and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION supported, referring to releases.
Regarding the article on information exchange, BURKINA FASO supported information exchange in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
On confidential information, CAMEROON supported deletion of a provision on confidentiality.
The PESTICIDES ACTION GROUP AND ALTERNATIVES FOR LATIN AMERICA stressed pursuing the goal of POPs elimination.
Implementation Group
On technical assistance, PERU introduced a GRULAC proposal calling for, inter alia: Secretariat coordination of assistance; extension of assistance to the regional and subregional levels; indication of needs in national reports; and establishment of regional and subregional capacity building centers.
INDIA noted the majority of POPs elimination projects are being carried out in developing countries through their own financing. CANADA said aid agencies need direct requests for funding to determine demand.
In discussion on the structure for the article on financial assistance and mechanisms, CHINA recommended establishing an individual multilateral funding mechanism. CHINA said the GEF's funding areas do not encompass POPs.

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